Saturday, 28 July 2012

Seed Heads

I've been thinking some more about 'Where the dead live'.

Initially, for people, I think it's in the memory of those that knew them. But, when they've also gone, it has to be in something tangible that has been left behind. Something that anyone could come across that might provoke thoughts about this person..

This could be a gravestone, an inscription, a line in a document, an artifact, anything that makes you think about this person, reminds someone who never knew them that they were once here.

But I've also been looking at the stuff on the top of my plan chest. Amongst the junk there's a collection of seed heads, some of which are still loosing little black seeds every time they get knocked. The idea of latent life in the dead plants also intrugues me.

 Looking closer at the Honesty. Most of the ovals are the shiny inner section of the pod but there are a few remaining intact heads. A couple of these are begining to split. The way the two outer layers peel away from the silky inner layer reminds me of a book. I'd like to explore this further.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Decisions made

Rapunzel is almost there!

Having experimented with incorporating photographed paint textures and colours with the illustration design in Photoshop I have decided that the best way forwards is to use a digital solution.

I have printed out the protoype, and some extra textures, and have even worked out the binding and cover. I now have a mock up that I think works. Production will need to wait until I go back to work as I need access to an A3 scanner to get a good copy of the textures for the final version but it is a relief to know how this is going to look.

Time now to start to work on 'Where the dead live'. I have some ideas but I'm not sure yet how to tie them together

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Printing Rapunzel

I've been experimenting with gum arabic transfer to see if it is a viable way to produce the images for the book.

I prefer the brown prints to the black. Where the ink has laid a wash over the white space the black looks grubby whereas the brown seems to work as a tint.

But even though these are printed from a smaller version of the final image they are still A3 sized (in width). This is the largest my press will go. To construct the book as I want to I'd need to make the image out of two A3 prints and join them. I think it's beyond my skills using this method to reliably print the two halves at the same density of ink so that the join is not immediately obvious.

So I've been experimenting using photoshop and painted textures to try and get a simillar feel to the brown gum arabic print. 

The colour isn't quite right yet but with a bit of tweaking I think this may be the practical option.

Friday, 13 July 2012


This is the book that I made for 'pay it forward'. It's not exactly typical of my work but I was having a tantrum after drying and paper problems and I decided to try somthing inkless!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Summer Holidays!

It's the first day of the summer holidays. Six whole weeks to draw, print, play, go see friends and exhibitions. I can't wait to get started (though I think to finish everything I've got planned I'm going to need to be off work until Christmas).

 I've finished the illustration for Rapunzel (I may have said that before!). It needed redrawing, rescanning and re-fiddling with in photoshop. When I'd done this and printed/constructed a rough I realised that how you 'read' the image depended on how you folded it. This meant I needed to reconsider the binding. Which meant I needed to add yet another panel. However, the drawing, with extra panel, is finally complete.

Now to work out if it is feasable to hand print an entire edition using xerox litho. Because of the size of the image it would need printing in two halves and then joining. I'm not sure if my printing skills are good enough to make that join invisible. More experiments needed I think.

Thursday, 5 July 2012


I’ve finally finished my ‘pay it forward’ piece.

This has been pending since March when I answered  Robyn’s post. She sent me a beautiful book (see blog entry for March 27th). Now I am sending my work onto Penny.

More pictures to follow when it arrives down under.